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Little Italy Review
Once a quiet strip of College Street with just a few unfrequented clothing shops and the odd, obstinate pizzeria, Little Italy has become one of the hippest haunts in Toronto. This is the southern edge of the city's Italian community, and though not much remains of this heritage—most Italians now live in the suburbs and throughout the city—the flavor lingers on many a table and in a few food markets.
Whether you're in the mood for old-school Italian trattorias (think checkered tablecloths) or polished martini bars, Little Italy won't disappoint. Pasta and pizza are not the only things on the menus here—new ethnic restaurants open monthly, and every corner holds fashionable cafés and diners to match.
At the epicenter of Little Italy, Café Diplomatico (594 College St., 416/534-4637 www.diplomatico.ca) AKA the "Dip" is one of the few old-school establishments still standing in Little Italy. Since 1968 locals have flocked to its large streetside patio, which offers perfect people-watching opportunities, to sip cappuccinos or savor a pint of beer and spicy mussels.
Enjoy a taste of Southern Italy inside Bar Italia (582 College St., 416/535-3621 www.bar-italia.ca), or on the raucous sidewalk patio that is packed all day in fine weather.
Surprisingly, this edge of downtown has a nightlife that rivals the clubs and bars of the Entertainment District (around Adelaide Street West). Bars and coffeehouses are busy into the night, and summer months bring out booming cruise-mobiles, patio revelers, and plenty of pedestrian animation.
- Address: College St., west of Bathurst St., btwn Euclid Ave. and Shaw St., Little Italy, Toronto, ON
- Metro Queens Park, then 506 streetcar west.
- Location: Queen's Park, The Annex, Yorkville, and Little Italy
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